Golden Hour on the Fence

Photo: ‘Golden Hour on the Fence‘ – Copyright 2015 Frank J Casella

The golden hour winter sun sets on a picket fence, and snowy tree branches, creating a moment of visual respite for end of the day worries and concerns.

When you’re so tired in today’s world, of balancing technology with human interactions, or worries and time management, it’s good to view moments like these as a sign of hope.

To enjoy a moment God’s love, and invitation to distinguish the genuinely important from the seemingly urgent.

What worries you, masters you, until you hand it over to the Master – A new focus, with new priorities, makes a big difference.

Autumn Colors Stormy Skies Prairie Trail

Photo: ‘Autumn Colors Stormy Skies Along The Prairie Trail – Heat Effect’ – Copyright 2022 Frank J Casella.

I like the warm colors of the prairie here under the stormy sky. Much like the path in life that we take, it can be quite colorful yet we know there can be storms all around us. Enjoy the beauty of the moment ….

Chicago Water Tower Christmas

Photo: ‘City of Chicago Water Tower Christmas‘ – Copyright 2017 Frank J Casella. Christmas Joy at Water Tower Park in the City of Chicago.

I’ve titled this photograph – ‘ City of Chicago Old Water Tower Christmas‘ – because looking at this scene tells me about living with strength and faith.

Strength because the tower, built in 1869, gained prominence after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In the years since the fire, the tower has become a symbol of old Chicago and of the city’s recovery from the fire.

Faith because of many Christians who are missing out on many of the religious Christmas symbols that permeate our society this time of year.

People become caught up in the commercial aspect of Christmas, while forgetting what Christians are actually celebrating.

The most common symbols of Christmas, the Christmas Tree is an evergreen. It stands in stark contrast to the dead, brown, leafless trees of winter. It is ever green and ever alive, reminding us that we are created for everlasting life. The tree is often topped with a star or angel, reminding us of the Star of David and the angels that announced the birth of the Lord Jesus.

When I see these two symbols together in the public square, I’m overcome with joy and reminded of the scriptures.

“Jesus said to the crowds:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.””

Matthew 11: 28-30

Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.

Last Peek of Winter Sun

The golden hour winter sun illuminates with color the snow-covered tree branches. How much do we, or can we, reflect the Light that is illuminating our own lives? Photo: ‘Last Peek of Winter Sun‘ – Copyright 2015 Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved.

Threshold – Monochrome

Sweet, silvery black and white of a tulip on sunlight. Photo: ‘Threshold – Monochrome‘ Copyright 2008 Frank J Casella.

Here we have a tulip flower that is opening up with the dawn of the morning light.

Faith and hope are just that … believing in the things not seen, and acting as if it’s going to be.

Much of our experiences and struggles can leave us with a scar, as like an injury on our hand so to speak.

Yet the thing about scars is that even though they may not go away, they do heal. As time goes on, and the scar keeps healing, sooner or later it can become not as noticeable … or be a reminder of perseverance.

Sometimes scars can be from relationships, our lives can be shattered, like a vase that falls off the table and breaks into many small pieces.

The good news is, that with time and healing in putting the vase back together, piece after piece, it may not look the same but can become instead a beautiful mosaic.

This is where threshold comes in. Each experience we have comes with it the doorway to a new day, a new era, a way to look at the past more intelligently for the future.

… A life filled with hope.

Chicago Blizzard – Holga

A person walks down the street during a blizzard with low visibility in a Chicagoland neighborhood. Kind of like the journey of life, unless we seek God’s will to depend on Him to show us the way. Photo: ‘Chicago Blizzard’ – Holga Effect – Black and White Documentary Photograph – Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved.

Being Committed

Photo: ‘Autumn Wetlands‘ Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella.

The key to vision is being committed to it. But many do you find have a hard time with this?

The path to a full life, and reaching your goals, is to be committed to it. There is no vision without being committed to it. We might find road blocks in the way, or things that change our direction a bit, and without being committed to it we just give up before we reach our goal.

Henry Ford comes to mind, how he said something like “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” as well as “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do” and “Vision without execution is just hallucination.”

One of the most difficult forms of being committed for me is with online platforms, as technology changes very fast. Even if you have your own website or blog, the host can change the business plan and you have to move with the changes, or change the host.

There is also being committed to a relationship, as in marriage, as over the years spouses change and you have to learn to move with it in love. The key to a long marriage is to stay married, forgiveness, and then give each other space.

I thought about this topic for today because there are a number of projects I’m working on in life, and with my pictures. And as we prepare to close out 2022 I’m reflecting on what I learned from them in the past 11 months, and how I want to approach them for the next year.

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”

— Zig Ziglar